Locals express anger as life-saving equipment vandalised in Thurles

Defibrillator on the wall outside Thurles greyhound track | Photo: Google Maps

Locals in Thurles have expressed their anger and frustration after a defibrillator was vandalised in recent days.

More than €1,500 was fundraised for the life-saving equipment just four years ago, and it was being kept in a special box on the wall of the greyhound track.

Speaking to Tipp FM, one of those involved in maintaining it, Ciara McCormack says the box has been badly damaged but she doesn’t yet know the extent of damage to the defib itself:

“I’m hoping that it’s working but I’m not expecting it to be, to be honest with you, because the box is completely smashed. The bag is gone as well.

“In the box was the defib, and a bag with pads and little bits that you need in case of a cardiac arrest.

“Like, it’s been there four years and what’s very frustrating is that just recently the dog track actually funded a new battery and new pads for the defibrillator.”

Ciara says those responsible for damaging the equipment are really playing with people’s lives:

“We’ve known over the years – especially with Semple Stadium – that people have gone [into cardiac arrest] on the way to matches, at matches… It’s just a very important piece of equipment for the community and I’m a little bit heart-broken that this happened in our town.

“It’s so important in the ‘chain of survival’. Every minute that passes when someone goes into cardiac arrest, they have a 10% less chance of survival.”